It's a crazy world we live in and preparing your house for selling isn't as easy at it used to be. There is safety to worry about on top of the staging, repairs and paperwork. Safety for your property and safety for yourself. Fortunately, there are some simple steps that a seller can take to reduce the risk of danger when looking to sell a home.
Schedule your Showings
Do not allow for the "just stop by" method, but do make sure that the home is available quite often for buyers to come and take a look. Whether you are selling your house FSBO (For Sale by Owner) style or if you have hired a real estate professional, there must be some sort of access schedule.
Lock Boxes and Hide-A-Key
Just say "No". Only the people responsible for showing the home should have a key to it. This can include your real estate professional, the buyers agent and you. With a combination lock box you can't be sure of all the people that have the code, so I wouldn't take the risk. It's better to be safe now than sorry later.
Lock up your Valuables
Theft occurs daily, you hear about it all the time. Lock up your valuables and your medications from not just potential homebuyers, but from Real Estate professionals as well. Don't let the potential homebuyer stroll through your house without you and someone else with them. Walk them through the house and ask them questions about themselves, this interest in them can also promote a sale.
Never show your House Alone
I said "never" because I truly meant it. Unless you personally know the potential homebuyer, you should always qualify the person first and then schedule a meeting when you AND someone else can be there. It is important to have at least two people whether it be family member or a friend, always have two people show the house. Meet the potential buyers somewhere public, preferrably, the real estate office, before allowing them into your house. I have heard stories of Real Estate professionals being raped, robbed and even killed when meeting an unknown potential homebuyer on someones property. These rules apply when selling your home FSBO, as well. You wouldn't just let anyone knock on the door and come in, don't do it just because you are trying to sell your home. Do not let your need to sell cloud your good judgment.
It is unfortunate the we must take these kinds of measures, but if you take a couple of extra steps ahead of time the selling process can be an enjoyable one.